The Fanatec CSL Elite and Thrustmaster T300 RS are both great intermediate sim racing wheels, boasting excellent force feedback and admirable build quality. The question is, which is the better wheel?
The Thrustmaster 300 RS is a steal for beginners or those on a tight budget. However, the CSL Elite is the clear winner in terms of overall quality and performance, making it a better purchase for most sim racers in the long run .
That said, here’s a full analysis of what each product has to offer, so you can decide for yourself which is best for you.
CSL Elite vs T300 RS: Technical Specs
|CSL Elite||T300 RS|
|ROTATION RANGE||90° to 1080°||270° to 1080°|
|DRIVE SYSTEM||Single gear toothed belt||Dual-belt brushless|
|PEDALS||Not included||Throttle and brake|
|MATERIALS||Perforated genuine leather grips and suede fabric||Reinforced rubber texture|
|DIAMETER OF WHEEL||30cm||28cm|
CSL Elite vs T300 RS: Build Quality
The gap between these two in terms of build quality is quite dramatic. Whereas the T300 RS is a sturdy, well-built wheel that is nothing to shake a stick at, its pedal set leaves much to be desired as does the rubbery wheel rim. On the other side, the CSL Elite’s hefty base is made of brushed aluminum spokes with fiber-enforced back cover and genuinely feels like a piece of a race car when in your hands.
Winner – CSL Elite
CSL Elite vs T300 RS: Design
Both of these wheels are rather handsome in their design, and their good looks do not in any way detract from their functionality. While they differ in drive system, wheel diameter and various other specifications, neither has a glaring weakness in terms of design. Both are ready to mount, highly upgradable and highly regarded by users for their ease of use. It’s worth noting that there are a pair of upgraded versions of the T300 RS – T300 RS GT and T300 Ferrari Integral Alcantara Edition – that offer improved pedals, aesthetics and wheel rims at a premium. CSL has an upgraded package as well – the CSL Elite F1 Set – that comes with an authentic F1 wheel rim and a pair of pedals.
Winner – Both
CSL Elite vs T300 RS: Force Feedback
Thrustmaster is near universally praised for their strong, reliable force feedback motors in their wheels and the T300 RS is not an exception to that rule. However, that system is no match for the powerful, responsive and dynamic system Fanatec has integrated into the CSL Elite – which may well be best-in-class.
Winner – CSL Elite
CSL Elite vs T300 RS: Pedals
Out of the box, the T300 RS has an underwhelming, clutchless set of pedals – which does manage to beat the CSL Elite technically as it does not come with pedals. That being said, Fanatec offers an array of great pedals that are plug-and-play compatible – we recommend the conveniently-titled CSL Elite Pedals with the CSL Elite Pedals Loadcell kit for the best experience. Thrustmaster’s upgraded offerings can be had for very little extra, should you opt for the T300 RS GT. or as part of the more premium T300 Ferrari Integral Alcantara Edition.
Winner – T300 RS
CSL Elite vs T300 RS: Noise
Both of these wheels have powerful, but relatively quiet motors that don’t make enough noise to garner complaints. The T300 RS however, tends to make a loud “clack” sound when hitting the ends of its rotation range; the CSL Elite remains buttery-smooth and silent for its full range.
Winner – CSL Elite
CSL Elite vs T300 RS: Other Considerations
As you’ve surely noticed by now, these wheels offer similar functionality that can be dramatically altered by way of upgraded packages and optional add-ons. As a base product, the CSL Elite needs to have a pedal set added in order to go straight to work – whereas the Thrustmaster comes with a pedal set that is perfectly useful but does not have a clutch which sim racing fans will sorely miss if they don’t opt for an upgraded package.
The Thrustmaster T300 RS is a great package that offers great value – especially the GT variant – and is absolutely worth your consideration if you’re on a tight budget. That said, it can’t quite match the unrivaled build quality, force feedback motor and spec sheet of the CSL Elite.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021